Extending the Libraryâs Web Presence: Building an Online Timeline Using MITâs SIMILE Exhibit

Joe J Marquez


Extending the libraryâs presence beyond a brick and mortar structure is essential as resources become increasingly available in electronic format. One way to achieve this is to create a broad-reaching tool like a timeline using the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyâs Semantic Interoperability of Metadata and Information in unLike Environments Exhibit (MITâs SIMILE Exhibit), a cloud-based program that allows for the creation of data-driven websites with minimal programming or Web expertise. With this easy-to-learn technology, a library can extend its Web presence by providing online access to its rich historical collections. This article is a case study on the implementation of an online timeline, the âSonoma County Timelineâ, which was used to showcase the libraryâs resources at Sonoma State University. The author also demonstrates how to build a timeline using MITâs SIMILE Exhibit software, and how a timeline can be used to extend the libraryâs presence to its community. A guide to managing the project, a status report for the Sonoma State University Libraryâs instance of Exhibit, and a discussion of best practices are also detailed in the article.


timeline; SIMILE Exhibit; history; promotion; Sonoma County Timeline; archives

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ISSN: 1947-525X